In my search throughout the internet over the last several years, Iíve come across literally hundreds and hundreds of people like myself who exhibit many symptoms associated with Maladaptive Daydreaming, and Iíve been repeatedly struck by how similar we sound. This is NOT an official list of symptoms, as MD is NOT an official diagnosis - yet. I am NOT a doctor or a mental health professional, and the following comments are ONLY based on my opinion and observations.
One or more of these symptoms are frequently mentioned:
Daydreaming excessively in a way that is often compared to an addiction.
This excessive daydreaming often begins in childhood.
Books, movies, music, video games, and other media may be a daydreaming trigger.
The daydreaming itself is often detailed and elaborate, sometimes compared to a movie or novel.
Repetitive movements while daydreaming are common (but not always present in sufferers) - pacing, rocking, spinning, shaking something in their hand, etc.
They may sometimes talk, laugh, cry, gesture, or make facial expressions as they daydream. People suffering from this know the difference between daydreaming and reality, and do not confuse the two; this makes them distinctly different from psychotics or schizophrenics.
Some people will lie in bed for hours daydreaming, and may either have difficulty going to sleep because of this, or have difficulty getting out of bed once awake. They may also neglect basic functions such as regular meals, etc. because of excessive daydreaming.
In my opinion, excessive daydreaming is unhealthy ONLY when it cause real difficulties or problems in your life, interferes with the way you function in your real life, or acts as a genuine and consistent replacement for real life. In my opinion, that would be the main criteria for deciding if it is a problem.